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Cervical ACDF + Broken Screws/Bone Fusion Failed

I've been having quite a bit of complications with previous ACDF surgeries.  I've had 3 so far.   My neck is fused from C4-5, C5-6, and C6-7.  On the lowest level fusion, 2 screws broke.  The x-ray report also states that the fusion failed.  This is the second report in a year that has stated this.  

The pain has increased significantly and I'm practically bedridden.  I'm typing this while lying on my bed, if I sit up for any period of time I have to deal with much more pain.  The pain coincidentally started right before I asked for the first x-ray/test because the pain seemed to be increasing rather than decreasing like it should.  In my mind there's a correlation but the doctor insists that the broken screws shouldn't be the cause.

What I'm asking or looking for is what is the probability that this is the cause of the increased pain?  Has anyone experienced this before, was the this the direct cause of any issues?  What can I do if no other doctors in the area will give a second opinion?  I live in Hawaii so no other neurosurgeon wants to examine a patient that has existing surgeries.  



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,613
    Hello Brandon

    Please click on the link for useful information

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510

    Welcome to the forums.

    What does your current surgeon say about this?  What are those screws doing, as in what happened to the plate that they should have been holding?

    Have you tried Orthopedic Surgeons?  There must be one who will take on fixing what your picture shows.


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  • I'm definitely NOT a doctor but how in the H-E- double hockey stick can that NOT cause pain? That makes my neck hurt more just looking at it! Bruce has a major point... where are the plates that the screws are supposed to be holding? Almost looks like a liability issue here if they don't fix it either way. JMO
    Tracie C
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